Note: This review appeared in my monthly newsletter (Feb. 2005). Apologies to those who have already read it.
Fifty Acres and A Poodle: A Story of Love, Livestock, and Finding Myself on a Farm by Jeanne Marie Laskas
Rating: A+ (5/5 Excellent!)
Top Ten List for 2005
I read half the book the very first night and forced myself to slow down and make the remaining half last. I can't remember the last time I laughed and cried while reading a single page in a book. And not just an internal chuckle, but full-bellied out loud laughter. Other than the first few pages that reminded me of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum (the humor seemed a bit forced), this is a great book. Loved all the animal names, particularly Screech, Walter, Wilma, Marley and Irving. It seems to me a lot of good humor was centered around the animals. Readers who enjoy Peter Mayle (A Year in Provence) and Jim Mullen (It Takes a Village Idiot) will love this. I thought it was even better than It Takes a Village Idiot, which also dealt with a "big-city" couple moving to the country. The focus of Mullen's memoir was the humor in buying a "country home," whereas Laskas' delved deeper and handled several emotional issues, drawing the reader in closer, not glossing over the harsh realities of life, whether on a farm or in a city. I can't wait to read the sequel, The Exact Same Moon: Fifty Acres and A Family. I read it in February and loved it. Click here for review.
La bete du bon Dieu. A good God. A God who has placed me gently in this place. Well, maybe not gently, but affirmatively. I look beyond the ladybug, out the window. Beyond the window, I see Billy and Tom and the bulldozer. Beyond them, woods and sky and the vast brown unknown. And beyond that: spring. That's one thing you can count on. You can never know what's next in your life, but you can know that spring comes after winter. You can trust, even though it looks impossible right now, that the green and the pink and the purple will come. You can trust the rhythm of the seasons.